The tenth seminar in the CLOSER Longitudinal Methodology Series featured talks from David Bann and Leah Li. David Bann is a Lecturer at UCL and Co-Investigator of the National Child Development Study (NCDS). Leah Li is a Senior Lecturer at the UCL Institute of Child Health.
Dr David Bann
Using longitudinal studies to examine changes in health inequality: cross-cohort differences in body mass index inequality
In order to understand and ultimately reduce health inequalities, high-quality evidence is required to quantify how they have changed across time—both as individuals age and comparing different generations. However, there are numerous challenges of such analyses, including potentially problematic differences in measurement, sampling, and missing data, and considering how to quantify socioeconomic inequality. We present work investigating how socioeconomic inequalities in body mass index (BMI) have changed across adulthood, using data from three national British birth cohort studies (initiated in 1946, 1958, and 1970), and discuss the challenges encountered which likely apply to other studies of health inequality.
Dr Leah Li
Changes in the association of life-course Body Mass Index trajectories with adult blood pressure across two British birth cohorts
Recent increases in the prevalence of obesity and more rapid gains in Body Mass Index (BMI) have been observed for all life stages. The impact of secular changes in lifetime BMI trajectories on cardiovascular disease risk factors is little studied. This talk is based on our work using the 1946 and 1958 British birth cohorts. We investigated associations between life-course BMI trajectories and adult blood pressure (BP) levels across two generations. BP did not increase despite higher levels of adult BMI in the younger cohort. A stronger association was found between BMI trajectory and BP in mid-adulthood in the younger cohort. We will discuss the possible explanations for the strengthening BMI/BP association, and the implications in the context of the obesity epidemic.